Senate Democrats on Impeachment Trial CSPAN January 30, 2020 11:49am-12:11pm EST
>> c-span, your unfiltered view of government created by cable in 1979 and brought to you today by your television provider. >> so again, the senate impeachment trial will continue at 1:00 pm eastern with more questions from senators. senate democrats spoke to reporters about the trial and possibility of the senate hearing from witnesses. >> okay, good morning. we are going to have a contest, who has a brighter jacket. are called navy this morning. madam magenta. on behalf of our caucus we thank you for the compliment on miss hirono's jacket. thanks for coming. let me say that i thought the
questioning period yesterday was very good for us. it showed how flimsy, how specious and how dangerous the republican arguments were. i want to go over some important moments from that first period of senators questions yesterday. nearly all of which made the case for witnesses and documents. some of the best questions came from republicans. from senator collins and murkowski, who asked the president's counsel if they could give an example of the president expressing concern about hunter and joe biden before former vice president announced his candidacy. the president's counsel could not point to a single example to support the claim so he made up a bogus excuse that it was limited to what was in the record. senator romney asked the president's counsel if they could clarify the specific date the president ordered the delay
in military assistance and what reason he gave for doing it. again, the president's counsel could not point to anything to answer senator romney. these are crucial points and they get at the question of corrupt motive. the simple, factual question and the president's counsel unable to answer them. wow. you know who could help them answer those questions? mick mulvaney. john bolton. and our other two witnesses. go for the documents we have asked to subpoena. a few other moments stood out. i asked -- they said they were not demanding absolute immunity so i asked them to name a single document or a single witness that the house counsel requested as they went through the process the president said okay, he couldn't name one.
mister philbin had to filibuster with a ph. [laughter] >> had to filibuster an answer to the general reasons they might call in the unity. another moment stood out. on monday night, mister dershowitz advanced a scarcely believable argument of impeachment. yesterday he went even further, suggesting that because presidents believe their reelection is in the public interest when they do things to benefit their reelection it is in the public interest and they can basically do whatever they want. i hear him correcting it on tv today. that seems to be mister dershowitz's pattern, listing on the floor and spend the next day correcting it. what a load of nonsense. by dershowitz's logic president nixon did nothing wrong in watergate. he was just breaking into the dnc to help his reelection
which of course is in the public interest. according to dershowitz. his argument frankly would unleash a monster. more accurately, it would unleash a monarch. think about this. according to dershowitz, impeachment is only for criminal offenses. meanwhile donald trump's justice department argues that a sitting president can't be indicted for criminal conduct, can't impeach for noncriminal conduct. the president could blackmail a foreign country into poisoning our elections and get away with murder literally so long as he is in office. republicans have gone denying with the president did to normalizing it by claiming every president does it to now saying there is nothing wrong with it even if he did it. incredible. the lengths they will go to
justify something most of them, not all but most know is wrong. the president's counsel is asking us to convert two new rights on the presidency, the right to ask foreign countries to investigate their political opponents and the right to prevent congress from investigating their opponents. senate republicans vote to endorse these ideas by shutting down a fair trial, they could spell the end of presidential accountability as we know it. today we will finish the question and answer period. then tomorrow take a crucial vote on whether we will debate having four witnesses, having witnesses and documents in this trial. the fate of much of the future of how this republic conduct itself is on the shoulders of four republicans. i believe senate republicans in the president's team are worried about the vote. yesterday mister sekulow said of the senate elects to
subpoena witnesses and documents, the president's team will force all manner of delay. take the managers to court, exert privilege, drag it on forever. a shocking admission from mister sekulow revealing how concerned the president's team are, how afraid they are of eyewitnesses to the president's conduct coming before the senate. of course his argument isn't true. there is no reason for endless delays, the documents are compiled. one key witness already said he would testify. we expect the others to comply of subpoenaed and questions of privilege can be sorted out right here in the senate. mister mick mulvaney -- sekulow was a threat, shakedown, he told senators to their face the president's team will do whatever it possibly can to prevent them from seeing the truth. it reminds you of something the president would do or say and
it should offend my republican colleagues as much as it offends us democrats. we are a nation founded on the idea of truth and reasoned debate, facts, ideas and arguments. that is all we are seeking in the trial. as we said before we don't know what the four witnesses will say. they are presidential appointees. we don't know what the documents will reveal. they might be exculpatory. they might incriminate. we will live with the fact. we will live with the truth, let the chips fall where they may. it is certainly in their interests, and the president's interests that we have a fair trial. a trial without truth and without key evidence and witnesses and documents would render the president's acquittal meaningless, a joint times -- the trial was a rigged in his favor.
>> thanks, senator schumer. don't know if there is a such thing as a gruntled former employee but donald trump has plenty of disgruntled former employees. there a lot of tweets these days, john kelly, john bolton. listen to what they say when talking about the john bolton manuscript which they never conceded they received. a manuscript containing top-secret information and couldn't be released to the american public. excuse me if i'm suspicious but the john bolton manuscript is in the same desk drawer is the president's tax returns and 7 irs audit federal bolton took through security. and it will not be completed until after the trial. now we have john bolton's position that the president told him, withholding funds from ukraine for political purposes which is held back
from the american public as long as possible. john bolton should be testifying. what we heard yesterday from those on the other side is continuing position that this is something like a trial without witnesses and evidence. the american people know a lot more about the trials and that and certainly understand there is no trial without evidence and witnesses and john bolton, mcilvain in two others we mentioned should be starters. this threat that they will prolong this indefinitely, the only way to deal with this issue really raises another question. we cannot wait to get back to the business of the senate, the business of the senate? the last calendar year we considered 22 amendments on the floor of the united states senate the entire year, 22. six of them from rand paul, dead on arrival.
insisted on a vote before we could leave town. 22 amendments. now they are arguing with a straight face of this trial goes on for another week it will keep it away from serious senate business. the only senate business we know has been mitch mcconnell's passion to fill every federal vacancy with lightly qualified, maybe even unqualified person for a lifetime appointment. can i say a word about professor dershowitz? 50 years on harvard faculty. i'm sure many people respect him for that and i do too. it is no longer professor dershowitz appearing before the united states senate. it is advocate dershowitz. those who have been in the trial situation, you have a client, do everything in your power to argue the law and facts on your side sometimes pushing the truth to make sure your client can win but what we see from professor dershowitz is exactly that. he is arguing as senator schumer said that if you can identify something as president your political interests and
say that is the national interest then all bets are off. they can do anything they wish with impunity. is that really where we want to go as a nation? if people believe this is a true republic or democracy, they have to understand the leaders of this country are subject to accountability and rule of law. republicans have missed that. the last deck i will make is this. i listen to these questions yesterday and understood there are at least three republicans who are seriously considering joining us when it comes to witnesses. we need more and i hope there will be more who will join us. this has to be a real trial for the american people to believe in it. if we bring this nation together, we won't short-circuited trial, returned to his judicial vacancies. the question moves along that track and i want to say closing
comments by mister philbin in the first part of the question period that suggest he could receive information from foreign sources without any concern really is a problem. .. >> senator hirono. >> thank you. >> we are witnessing the coronation of trump. with mitch mcconnell holding the crown and the republicans holding his train. we already know trump says he can anything want under article ii of the constitution. so yesterday we listened during eight hours of question and answers what i would call insane
view being pushed out to the rest of the country. amazing. my colleagues talked about in very concrete terms what they think trump-kim do. and i want to put this into a larger context of what a president who believes that he can do anything want under article ii, this is not a president who cares about checks and balances. so this this is a president who already brought us to the brink of war with iran. who knows what's going to happen with north korea if kim jong-un continues to -- the president continues to go after immigrants tooth and nail. we have to ask ourselves what group is he going to go after next? he's already given us that information. the next group is going to go after our seniors because he's going to cut social security benefits. i represent a state that has a lot of seniors, and believe me,
i looked it up, alabama, arkansas, maine, vermont, west virginia, these are states that have almost -- more than one in five of the population relies on social security. so when he continues to go after immigrants, not enough of us speak up, but all these people live in the states i hope they're listening. we now have keen trump will go after your social security. this is the larger context in which the president believes he can do anything he wants under article ii operates. as the danger we face, what is it going to take us to fight back? its fighting back and that's why we are here. >> okay. questions. >> the possibility this witness vote could split 50-50 has been
raised, -- chief justice would wait in or step back? >> look, right now our focus is on getting four republicans. we shouldn't have to rely on what the chief justice will or will not do. we need four republicans who understand what the crisis that this president has created, who understands the waiting list of the arguments and the fact that in impeachment you must have a fair trial. that's where our focus is. >> if you don't, -- >> could you give us some insight on conversation drafting with republicans want on one? >> i don't -- [inaudible question] >> we all talked republican colleagues, and we've made the same arguments we have made here, which is that fairness dictates a fair trial. and impeachment dictates a fair trial. we would forever about the right
on one the less checks of an overreaching president who thinks he can do anything he wants if you can't get witnesses and documents. you know, i think some of them are weighing it. yes. >> leader schumer, you mentioned -- >> you have to speak up. >> you mentioned the republicans on the shoulder of four republicans pretty feel like that noticed up for grabs and if so how do you plan to -- >> we've always said this is an uphill fight. the pressure that trump, as it vindictive, nasty president and mcconnell places on that is large but we're hopeful. truth prevails. our caucus is so strong and so united, because frankly we believe we have proof and right on our side, and after four weeks of talk about this the american people are strong on our side. the overwhelming majority, 75% including a significant majority of republicans, are for witnesses and documents. it's rare and a public poll that
you get republican rank-and-file disagreeing with president trump. trump. but in this case they do. we are continuing to make the argument and make the fight, and we think that truth can prevail and we can get the four votes. mr. cnn. >> so gop leaders seem confident they can block witnesses and documents. they said they want to vote on acquittal tomorrow night. i would like to know is anything you can do to delay or stall -- >> i don't want to -- the bottom right is our focus is on the boat, on witnesses and documents. as you know the leaders resolution doesn't go past that. the minority has rights and we will exercise those rights. >> more specific on the motion, like what motions -- >> we will not give in that
here. our focus right now is getting the four votes. >> do believe the senate should deliberate as the jury privately on the question of -- >> we will decide -- that is allowed by the rules. it says you can deliberate. obviously majority vote determines everything, and again, we will decide that as we move forward. no, no, no, that's it. cheryl. >> you talk about democrats being united and you talked about the ultimate vote to acquit or -- [inaudible] what message would send it -- >> we are focus on a four votes you to get witnesses and documents broadly the house managers have made it extremely strong argument and were focus on getting the four and that's where the focus will be. our caucuses total united on that issue, which will determine where we go from there.
>> i would if you could speak to the sin as a deliberative body dealing with impeachment from the clinton times how we behaved then, what your observations are versus now? >> there's obviously two things. much more polarization obviously. a lot of our republican colleagues frankly know what the right thing to do is, no, we have truth on our side but we've never had a president as a city who as vindictive and a snazzy is this what any strikes fear in the heart of a lot of people. the second difference is with nixon troutman clinton trial there was cooperation. clinton win before the grand jury. there was loads of witnesses and documents made available by both nixon and clinton. this is the first president who in disguise of absolute immunity has stonewalled everything. that's a huge difference. that's why the need for witnesses and documents even though they were available in nixon and in clinton are even more needed now.
>> you dismiss over the last couple of days idea of the witness deal. yesterday he gave his list of people he would call, hunter biden, adam schiff for you argued none of them are relevant witnesses to his or anybody on list who -- >> we need the four votes first. republicans can call any witness they want right now. what they are afraid of is the witness we've asked for. okay? so that is the first step. if we get the four four votes i imagine there would be some negotiation. or step get the boat. thank you, everybody. >> which republican senators are you pursuing for the fourth vote? [inaudible question] >> no. [laughing]
>> on capitol hill senators are heading toward the senate chamber for this afternoon session of the impeachment trial against president trump. it is the second day of clashes between house impeachment managers and the president's defense team. it will get underway shortly. you can watch and make up your own mind live at 1 p.m. eastern here c-span2. one of the topics that was covered yesterday in the senate was u.s. aid to ukraine. >> senator from west virginia. >> thank you. i sent a question to the desk for the president's counsel. >> the senators question is what counsel for the president. you